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Overall Rating

Awesome: 26.16%
Worth A Look33.72%
Average: 9.88%
Pretty Bad: 11.05%
Total Crap: 19.19%

10 reviews, 112 user ratings

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How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
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by Erik Childress

"You'd Have to Be A Grinch..."
4 stars

Everyone knows the story of Dr. Seuss’ Grinch. The cartoon has become an annual staple of the holiday season alongside the likes of Charlie Brown and It’s a Wonderful Life. And why not? It’s an indelible Christmas tale with a positive, uplifting message that makes you smile and maybe even cry. Universal and Ron Howard’s new live-action take on The Grinch tell us that we don’t know the whole story. And with 80 minutes to expand on a 25-minute cartoon, they have done an admirable job. And it all begins with two words: Jim Carrey.

Can we continue discussing Carrey as a complete actor, please? After his string of wildly successful comedies, ranging from screwballesque to just downright wacky, Carrey took up a couple of dramatic performances honored by the Golden Globes but ignored by the Oscars. It’s easy to look at The Grinch as Carrey returning to his original shtick. And in ways it is, but how many actors can truly embody a character, small-heart and soul, until he is completely absorbed by his own creation. Of course, the green makeup greatly benefits that illusion, but this is a guy who truly can do it all and it makes The Grinch all the more enjoyable.

The original story (and cartoon) is a very simple tale. The Grinch is an ugly loner of a Scrooge who lives with his dog on a mountaintop overlooking the joyful town of Whoville. Their inhabitants enjoy all the commercial aspects of Christmas from the presents to the Roast Beast. Ol’ Grinch had a very simple plan. He’ll swoop down upon Whoville, dressed as Santa Claus, and loot all the lights, trees and happiness while everyone sleeps until his heart grows three sizes too large and he joins in on the celebration. Perfect for a big-worded children’s book or half-hour cartoon, but big-budget screen adaptations call for more than 10-minute acts.

Even though the poem tells us “no one quite knows the reason” for Grinch’s dislike of Christmas, his motivation here is branched out for the good of the Holiday movie season. So it’s up to little Cindy Lou-Who to go Jedediah Leland on the cast and discover the secrets of poor Grinch’s past. A troubled, unattractive hairy boy was the Grinch. Winning the love of Martha May Who-vier would prove to be no cinch. Mocking his craftily designed homemade gift, the children of Whoville leave him quite miffed. So it’s up the mountaintop to be alone. No way to contact him, not even a phone. To Hell with Christmas and its commercial intent, the Grinch will stay high above and forever vent. Some may mock this exposition as a crime, but Oh my God, I’m speaking in rhyme.

I, for one, enjoyed the extension. It allows the story to have a bigger emotional payoff in the end even as it doesn’t fall into overblown sappiness. There’s so much to enjoy about this film that, pardon the expression, you would have to be a Grinch not to. Having (a credited) Anthony Hopkins as the story’s narrator was a masterstroke. His distinguished voice, for the most part, reads the storybook to the audience throughout the film whenever it corresponds. Rick Baker is staring down another Oscar this year with his work on The Grinch. With his biggest competition being himself for his work on The Klumps, his makeup here is flawless, not only for the Grinch himself (a cross between The Mask and the Cowardly Lion) but for the citizens of Whoville with their slightly rat-like augmentations that stop looking funny once you accept them. Cindy Lou-Who (Taylor Momsen) could have been just another annoying child actor trying too hard and failing miserably (see Pepsi Girl), but completely succeeds at finding the right level of cuteness as the child who just wants everyone to get along. And does anything more need to be said about how great Jim Carrey is? Speaking with a drawl that best represents a cross between Boris Karloff (the cartoon’s narrator) and Sean Connery, you will never be able to picture anyone else who could have pulled off The Grinch so successfully.

Yes, the film is not without its problems. With the story expansion comes a lifelong nemesis for The Grinch (Whoville’s Mayor played by Jeffrey “Hey Now” Tambor) that doesn’t quite pan out. “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” starts and ends on a right note (with Carrey singing) but sandwiched in-between is one of those “hip” cover versions with the funky musical stylings that tend to ruin classic songs. Wouldn’t it have been great to hear Hopkins sing it just as the cartoon’s narrator did? Sure, Whoville looks like a giant set ready to be transferred to Universal Studios (Hollywood or Florida) as their new children’s attraction, but when you’re located inside a snowflake, how much room can there really be? And how come a callback joke wasn’t made with that Christmas Light Gun? The Grinch could have been really creative with that.

The Bah Humbug’s of the world will likely come from the west and the east, which is something I cannot stand in the least. They will talk of over-complicating a perfectly simple tale in hopes of drawing a larger ticket sale. The harsher critics seem to have forgotten how to enjoy a film like a child. How else can you explain why they would get so riled? The Grinch is a wonderful holiday treat, one that can stand the critical heat. A Christmas classic in its own right with Jim Carrey near the top of his acting height. See it in the theater and avoid the critic’s tussle. It could be a lot worse as the narrator could have been Nipsey Russell.

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originally posted: 11/17/00 08:38:33
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User Comments

8/15/14 Mario is the Best The Cat in the Hat was WAY BETTER! This movie is not so good. 2 stars
12/16/10 Dr.Lao Typical Carrye movie, all mugging and glitz with no substance 2 stars
11/24/10 Jeff Wilder Jim Carrey does a good job. But the materialistic view of Christmas is somewhat depressing. 3 stars
8/25/09 Wreck-Gar I love this movie. The makeup effects are genius and Jim is a great grinch. 5 stars
1/14/09 Anonymous. i think the grinch was a little too...crazy. but it was okay. :P 3 stars
12/04/08 Shaun Wallner Hilarious Movie! 4 stars
5/18/08 PAUL SHORTT TERRIBLE 1 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega A really funny Jim Carrey/Ron howard caper/fairy tale. Better than 'The Cat in the Hat'. 4 stars
1/10/07 Dude very funny 4 stars
12/28/06 Anthony Feor This is disgraceful, who thought it could be this bad 1 stars
12/24/06 Tabitha Wow the Eggnog Drinkning contest in the film is like a Bad Porn Scene 1 stars
12/09/06 AceGrinch This is cool! I am a huge grinch fanatic and i love this movie! 5 stars
12/03/06 GrinchLoaf This movie ROCKS! Merry rockin grinchmas! 5 stars
11/21/06 ManGrinch Jim Carrey makes an AWESOME grinch! I wish i could be a green furry grinch. 5 stars
11/16/06 David Pollastrini the deleted scenes on th e dvd were better than the movie! 3 stars
8/10/06 Dragon The Artist Not bad for a realism rehash, very slightly over the top, but enjoyable. 4 stars
5/02/06 chris f enjoyable movie 4 stars
4/07/06 Comrade Flix If you dont like this, you are a poo poo head. 5 stars
1/03/06 Anthony Feor Ron Howards a loser, but the movie is fine 4 stars
11/25/05 Wolfie Great! Jim looks great in green! 5 stars
11/16/05 allie BY FAR THE FUNNIEST MOVIE I HAVE EVER SEEN! i know all the lines8) 5 stars
9/27/05 Carolyn Rathburn wonderful, my grandkids love this movie 5 stars
9/12/05 Bloodclot Were you people looking at the fucking SCREEN when this was playing?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! 1 stars
8/28/05 Quigley i almost hated jim carrey for being in such an awful film. poor dr. seuss! 1 stars
8/12/05 ES Dr. Suess is rolling in his grave 1 stars
8/06/05 Zack Never cast Jim Carrey in an adaptation of a book! 1 stars
6/08/05 Valerie G. Kinda funny. 4 stars
4/18/05 Jeff Anderson Not as bad as I feared, but nothing really special. Visually overdone & murky, though. 3 stars
3/21/05 Danielle Sanderson wow!this film is 1 of the funniest films EVER! "your 8years old and you have a beard" ha ha 5 stars
2/24/05 DM Jim Carrey is hilarious. Christine Baranski needs way more roles. 4 stars
1/28/05 Jack Scallops You're a funny one, Mr. Carrey 4 stars
1/19/05 Keaton the Black Jackal What can I say? Jim Carrey's just awesome. 5 stars
11/02/04 courtney hussey this movie is my favorite movie, the best EVERRR.. 5 stars
9/04/04 T.B. Best remake ever made 4 stars
12/23/03 I Would Visual flair can't make up for this piece of shit. 2 stars
12/12/03 Jessica Jones This movie is the funniest thing i have seen in a long time 5 stars
12/10/03 re A GREAT FILM 5 stars
11/24/03 Samuel Better than 'The Cat in the Hat' Jim Carrey is better than Mike Myers too! 5 stars
4/18/03 Jon "Thumb the Toad" Lyrik It is an aggravating, infuriating mess. 1 stars
3/17/03 Peter I found this movie to be hilarious, and Jim Carrey was the perfect choice for the role! 5 stars
2/21/03 Mister Bigglesworth A 90 minute commercial for insipid toys. Suess's widow is very happy to market this shiite. 2 stars
1/19/03 Goofy Maxwell Doesn't matchup to the toon, but felt familiar enough. 4 stars
12/10/02 helmand it sucked 1 stars
12/03/02 Gazza E I can't believe Ron Howard could make something so bad!! 1 stars
10/11/02 pokeoutmyeyes appallingly bad, dull, unfunny, naseating 1 stars
6/28/02 Justin Great! 5 stars
5/15/02 Blake The only reason why I like this film is because Faith Hill sings Where are you Christmas. 5 stars
2/24/02 Chris K. Ron Howard is now blacklisted from being behind camera. Opie needs to get a new career! 1 stars
1/16/02 David A. Without Dr. Seuss's artwork, it just couldn't fly 2 stars
1/07/02 kevin hudson its a good movie 4 stars
11/25/01 Smoogles STINK STANK STUNK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
11/24/01 THE MAN you got to lobve the big butt girls at the start mmmmmm 3 stars
11/23/01 Will Diamond Eh..... nope 2 stars
11/14/01 Zizzerzazzerzuzz Truly pathetic. Little Opie Cunningham screwed the pooch with this wet fart of a movie. 1 stars
9/17/01 Bri Little Cindy and young Grinch steal the movie. 5 stars
9/06/01 Goldhammer Vile piece of shit. Desecrates, rapes, and vomits on Seuss's beautiful tale. 1 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk Ron Howard ruined Christmas! Who the fuck does that bald bastard think he is? 1 stars
4/10/01 Gary Makeup was supurb. Good story line. It's an instant classic! 5 stars
3/26/01 C A Brown Although it departed from Seuss's original story, it was still amazingly funny! 5 stars
1/29/01 Nic I would rahter gag myself with a spoon multiple times than see this movie ever again! 1 stars
1/20/01 Ali Genova The movir is awesome. 5 stars
1/16/01 Nut Mind-numbing crap. A childhood treasure destroyed by a focus group. You like? You are dumb. 1 stars
1/11/01 The Grinch It made me want to put the popcorn bag over my head 2 stars
1/03/01 Collegebrat19 Great! I laughed the whole time. 5 stars
1/02/01 jack it was the best 5 stars
1/01/01 Jack the Ripper Everyone who made this movie should be ashamed. 1 stars
12/31/00 stephanie ok 5 stars
12/27/00 Turtle Jim Carrey proves his that he can definitely act here. Better than the cartoon! 5 stars
12/25/00 Damion Cain Will someone please kill Jim Carey? I'll pay you! 5 stars
12/24/00 Reverend Krule They ruined a classic!!!!!! 1 stars
12/24/00 Matthew Bartley Good kids flick. Carrey is hugely amusing but I wish Tim Burton had directed it 3 stars
12/21/00 fifu it was just what i guessed it would be like 2 stars
12/19/00 Julia So awful- made me want to vomit.Dr. Seuss is spinning in his grave in abject horror. 1 stars
12/17/00 Tom The movie is beautiful, that's all i'll say 5 stars
12/15/00 The-Fider Funny! cool, I love orign stories ^__^ The sets are INCREDIBLE! A cool film. 5 stars
12/14/00 Mr J M HARWOOD The The The GRINCH RULES 5 stars
12/12/00 PhilmPhreak W-E-A-K 2 stars
12/10/00 Denny Great theme attacks Christmas commercialism.Grinch is well developed character.GREAT! 5 stars
12/10/00 it was exactly what i expected, hysteria , coming from a actor like Jim Carey 5 stars
12/04/00 Tdis72 Not bad if you have kids to take and see! Otherwise, average! 3 stars
12/04/00 puckfreak See it with an open mind. 4 stars
12/03/00 prima sp vardhana the best film for child education 5 stars
12/03/00 maryj a waste of time & money 1 stars
12/02/00 RICK Fantastically entertaining... very funny... Nothing beats Dr. Suess 5 stars
11/30/00 ZuG Couldn't have done it w/o Jim, but he overacted and stepped out of character. 4 stars
11/28/00 Nessus Grinch not villan, epiphany at end of film just wasn't the same, Jim WAS the Grunch 3 stars
11/27/00 rdrdwine.manitoba Excellent! Brilliantly Done!Two Thumbs UP. Way up 5 stars
11/27/00 Ellen A wonderful film full of magic and some subtle adult humour. 5 stars
11/26/00 Suzie As good as you'll get with real people. Chrisine was hot, the girl was a real Cindy. 4 stars
11/26/00 Jenny-My-Fur this movie rocked my world to say the least, jim is incrdible! kick ass movie! 5 stars
11/26/00 hk It was nothing like the original story! 2 stars
11/23/00 ricky It would have been better than the original, but there were a some scenes that had no point 4 stars
11/22/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble Jim Carrey, Who? I stayed home. 2 stars
11/21/00 Jim Bob Who This movie totally stunk, I mean the Grinch looked like a large, furry, green turd! 1 stars
11/21/00 pooky love The Grinch should have stole some talent! 1 stars
11/21/00 The Bill Head This is what you get when you cross a gynecological deformity with a bleeding hemorrhoid!! 1 stars
11/21/00 Raquelle Excellent update to the classic, deals with new issues like prejudice and commercialism. 5 stars
11/21/00 JB The best argument against letting lesbians raise a green Who 1 stars
11/20/00 Fishie unbelieveable attention to every detail and jim carrey does a great job. 4 stars
11/20/00 The Bomb 69 the look was magnificent, the story was weak 3 stars
11/20/00 Seth the humor was ok 4 stars
11/20/00 Nick I hate Jim Carrey 1 stars
11/20/00 loser sucks 2 stars
11/20/00 Stuntman okay movie, great adaptation of the kid's book 3 stars
11/20/00 Trish Was a generally fun (though sometimes creepy) movie experience. 4 stars
11/19/00 Krystal Wish I could say better, but...this just never took off 2 stars
11/19/00 rogo742 Carrey totally over the top but that's how we love him. The sets and the costumes A+. 4 stars
11/19/00 ricky awsome 5 stars
11/19/00 me cool graphics!! 4 stars
11/18/00 natasha slow start, magical finish 4 stars
11/18/00 The Bill Head Carey, Backer, and the sets are wonderful..some parts represent a bleeding hemorroid,though 3 stars
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  17-Nov-2000 (PG)


  30-Nov-2000 (PG)

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